Riviera Partners Acquires WorthyWorks, Appoints COO

June 11, 2019 – Fresh on the heels of securing $25 million in private equity financing, Riviera Partners, a recruitment provider specializing in C-level engineering, product and design leader placements, continues its recent expansion with the acquisition of New York-based tech and product leader specialist WorthyWorks and the addition of Ryan Giordano as chief operating officer.

“We are in a phase of hyper-innovation in the technology market,” said CEO Will Hunsinger. “Established companies are embarking on digital transformation initiatives while start-ups and growth companies are embracing new technologies and approaches to deliver better products, faster.” Tech, he said, is the fastest growing segment of the $16 billion recruiting market with 12 million jobs in the U.S.

Mr. Giordano joins Riviera’s executive leadership team and will head the firm’s operations, customer success and analytics initiatives with a focus on enabling scale and unlocking business insights to support growth.

He brings broad experience in start-up to multi-billion dollar organizations across SaaS, platform, hard-goods, subscription and marketplace (e.g. gig-economy) models. As COO, Mr. Giordano will oversee the development of systems, business practices, tools and training to ensure that Riviera’s rapid growth is efficient and that the company can scale to meet its market opportunity.

Previously, Mr. Giordano was executive vice president of customer success and operations at Wag Labs, where he was responsible for operations / ops analytics, customer care / service, emergency response, supply (walker hiring, on-boarding and support) and logistics of Wag’s gig-economy, marketplace business. Before that, he was VP of the leadership team at LifeLock. During his career, Mr. Giordano also held leadership positions at MasterCard, Zoom Systems and Eton Corp.

“After an exhaustive search, we are thrilled to add Ryan to our ranks,” said Mr. Hunsinger. “Ryan’s operational expertise, strong analytics acumen and modern approach to business practices and systems will ensure that we scale appropriately and create the greatest amount of value for our clients and stakeholders.”

New Acquisition

WorthyWorks, led by founder Kyle Langworthy, specializes in searches for engineering and product leaders within the blockchain ecosystem. The firm brings a broad network of client and candidate connections to the Riviera business.

Mr. Langworthy and his team have a track record of placements of tech and product leaders in start-ups to mid-stage growth companies in New York, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Denver, Mexico City, London and Paris. The firm has developed a deep understanding of the specialized needs of companies participating in machine learning and blockchain ecosystems placing executives at companies including Axoni, BitGo, bitFlyer, Bitso, CoinDesk, CoinList, Curv, Genesis Global Trading, Horizen, MakerDAO, ShapeShift and others.

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“We are engaged in more active searches for senior tech leaders than at any other time in our history,” said Mr. Hunsinger. “The addition of Kyle will increase the ability for our New York office to meet the demand for our services in the area. New York is a vibrant tech hub requiring deep understanding of important technologies like blockchain, machine learning and cloud infrastructure as well as the ability to navigate and fully participate in the New York tech community.”

Mr. Hunsinger said Riviera is experiencing the highest demand for its services in the firm’s history. “Adding experienced operators like Ryan and Kyle helps us scale to meet the demand. We intend to continue to lead this market in focused search services for tech leaders.”

Growing Search Firm

Riviera Partners is a global recruiting firm specializing in the technology industry. The firm provides clients with optimal placements by combining recruiter interactions and experience with data-driven findings about candidates. The firm has recruited for key executive roles at Pinterest, Postmates, Tinder, Twilio, Uber, Asana, Dropbox, GitHub, DoorDash, Hulu, and partnered with venture-backed concerns, including Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia, Benchmark, Accel, Menlo Ventures, KPCB, Greylock and General Catalyst.

Through sophisticated, machine learning algorithms, Riviera Partners identifies specialized, highly-qualified candidates that fit an organization’s needs from 600,000 professionals in the most important tech geographies. Riviera can often provide a short list of exceptional candidates in 30 days and has a track record of over 95 percent success rate.

Private Equity Funding

Last week, Riviera Partners closed a minority investment of $25 million led by private equity firms Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors and ROCA Partners. The financing will be used to fund Riviera Partners’ continued geographic expansion, strategic acquisitions, enhancements to its “Sutro” proprietary recruiting platform and the addition of staff to meet the increased demand for its services. Riviera grew its revenues by nearly 48 percent this past year, to $31 million, and is now ranked No. 18 by Hunt Scanlon Media on its Top 50 list.

“Technological advancement is the most important driver of company growth and value creation,” said Mr. Hunsinger. “Riviera places technology leaders that power this transformation for companies of all sizes, enabling them to deliver products and services that serve customers better than ever before.”

“We have the most experienced, data-driven recruiting team in the industry, a powerful platform that speeds the process, and the best candidate relationships,” he said. “Our partners choose Riviera because of our proven track record, and they are confident that by working with us, they’ll make a great hire.”

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“We target high growth companies that bring game changing software, processes and analytics to industries that are often behind the technology curve,” said Nishita Cummings, partner at Kayne Partners Fund. “In the same way that advanced analytics changed the game of baseball, we believe that Riviera’s proprietary technology and processes are changing the way executive recruiting is done. We are thrilled to become an integral part of helping them grow during this exciting time.”

Market Consolidation

M&A activity, with the support of private equity firms, continues to heat up in the executive search industry. In the latest deal, Diversified Search, backed by investment dollars from private equity firm ShoreView Industries, just acquired Koya Leadership Partners, one of the nation’s top search firms in non-profit and higher education.

“Both ShoreView and firm leadership struck this deal to grow Diversified Search, and that is what we are doing,” said Diversified’s founder and chair Judith M. von Seldeneck. “Our deal with Koya Leadership Partners is just the first of what we expect will be several such deals this year.”

In a good economy such as this one, the war for talent can get extremely competitive, especially in the C-suite, Ms. von Seldeneck said. “Search firms are beginning to see there is strength in numbers — that when you consolidate resources and teams, you each inherit each other’s long-standing client relationships and contacts, which only grows the business faster,” she added. Because networking and relationships are the engine of any search firm, she said, “you’re going to continue to see consolidation for the foreseeable future.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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